How to Confront the 500-Pound Gorilla in Your Life (Confrontation, pt. 2)
We all put off confrontation. We hide from people we should confront. We have imaginary conversations with them we never get the guts to have.
How do you resolve your worst confrontation scenario? I can help you with that.
Andy Stanley, one of my favorite podcasters, told about a businessman mentor of his who encouraged him to “confront the 500-pound gorilla.”
His advice: “What do you do with a 500-pound gorilla? You open the cage and beckon him out.” In other words, you go looking for him!
Still scared of that confrontation? Try this:
1. It won’t get better.
- Bad relationships don’t get better. They get worse. The longer they are avoided, the more it grows in your mind and inflames your emotions.
- Set the day. Walk down the hall or next door and knock on the door. The moment you do, you are taking control away from that gorilla (please don’t call them one!).
2. Be a leader.
- Leaders lead. They confront issues instead of dodging them. They solve difficult problems instead of avoiding them. They address obstacles before they grow destructive.
- Ask God to give you COURAGE. This word comes from the French word for “heart” (coeur). I have found that when God gives me the “heart” to face something, it is often no big deal when I get into it. That gorilla may come whimpering out of the cage!
3. Be transparent.
- Admit your faults. Own your mistakes. Lawyers tell their clients to keep their palms up under the table when being deposed. They are less hostile and more truthful when “open-handed.”
- Ask for change and an end to hostility. If you are 100% honest in your approach, you will disarm the gorilla!
4. Listen to the Holy Spirit.
- A pastor friend was called on the carpet by his bank lending committee. The church he had taken that month was 5 months behind on their mortgage. As the committee berated him, he silently prayed for wisdom.
- Suddenly, a thought dropped into his mind. He said, “Who was on this committee and approved this loan after several years of declining finances and membership?” Then, he grew quiet. The surprised committee chairman quickly retreated and said to the group, “Fellows, I think we’ve got ourselves a pastor here.” Gorilla, come on out.
5. Carry your identity.
- In a confrontation, you have to know “who you are.” A police officer is confident in a dangerous confrontation because of a badge, a weapon, and a radio.
- Your fear and hesitancy in a confrontation is because you have lost your identity. You ARE a parent. You ARE a spouse. You ARE an employee or employer. You ARE a good neighbor. REMIND YOURSELF OF THAT or that gorilla will intimidate you back into hiding.
We all face 500-pound gorillas. On the job, in your extended family, or in the neighborhood there is always one there.
In God’s strength, “open the cage…and beckon him to come on out.”